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Manteo, North Carolina/
Hampton Roads, Virginia
United States
City Manteo, North Carolina
Branding SKY4
Channels Digital: 9 (VHF)
(to move to 13 (VHF))
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
Subchannels 4.1 Independent
4.2 Escape
4.3 Laff
4.4 Grit
Affiliations Independent
Owner Lockwood Broadcast Group
(Tidewater TV LLC)
Founded March 9, 2001
First air date October 19, 2001; 16 years ago (2001-10-19)
Call letters' meaning The word SKY, named for its original owner, SKY Broadcasting Inc.
Former channel number(s) Analog:
4 (VHF, 2001–2006)
4 (VHF, 2006–2010)
Transmitter power 70 kW
Height 306 m (1,004 ft)
Facility ID 76324
Transmitter coordinates 36°31′15″N 76°18′15″W / 36.52083°N 76.30417°W / 36.52083; -76.30417
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

WSKY-TV, virtual channel 4 (VHF digital channel 9), is an independent television station licensed to Manteo, North Carolina, United States, serving the Hampton Roads area of southeastern Virginia (comprising the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News and environs), and the Outer Banks region of northeastern North Carolina. Owned by Lockwood Broadcast Group, WSKY maintains studios on Salters Creek Road in Hampton, and its transmitter is located near South Mills, North Carolina.

On cable, WSKY-TV is carried mainly on channel 4, except on the Charter Spectrum system in Suffolk, where it is carried on channel 10. A high definition feed is available on Cox digital channel 1004, Spectrum channel 703 in Suffolk, channel 704 in Manteo and channel 1232 in Elizabeth City, and Mediacom channel 804.

Despite the callsign and branding of SKY 4, the station is not affiliated in any way with British Sky Broadcasting of the United Kingdom, nor its part-owner, 21st Century Fox (which also owns the Fox network).


The history of WSKY-TV can be traced as early as 1995, when the FCC invited filings for a license to operate a television station in Manteo on channel 4. Six groups applied for the license.[1]

Before its fall 2001 launch, channel 4 on Cox Cable housed LNC or Local News on Cable, WVEC-TV's 24-hour cable news television station. When WSKY launched, LNC moved up to channel 5 on Cox Cable lineups.

The station's analog signal signed-off in late November 2006, as its digital signal was to sign-on from a new tower in Camden County, North Carolina. WSKY had some challenges covering the northern part of the market (Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton) on its analog signal; which was to be remedied with its new digital tower.

Between 6 and 7 a.m. on the morning of March 2, 2007, in high winds during storms moving through the area, WSKY-DT's tower collapsed, also destroying the transmitter building. The tower was three weeks away from completion. [2][3] The tower was rebuilt and finished in November 2007. WSKY-DT started broadcasting a test pattern on November 24, 2007,[4] and began regular broadcasts on November 27, 2007.

On January 1, 2009, DirecTV removed the channel from its lineup following a failure to reapply for "must-carry" status.[5] It returned to the DirecTV lineup on January 1, 2012.

During the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, WSKY-TV aired two weeknight 11 o'clock newscasts from CBS affiliate WTKR during that station's coverage of the basketball tournament. WTKR did broadcast late newscasts at Midnight when the coverage concluded.[6]

On July 15, 2013, Lockwood Broadcast Group announced it would be acquiring 51% of WSKY-TV pending FCC approval.[7] The sale was finalized on November 25.[8]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel PSIP Short Name Video Aspect Programming[9]
4.1 WSKY-DT 1080i 16:9 Main WSKY-TV programming
4.2 Escape 480i 4:3 Escape
4.3 Laff Laff
4.4 Grit Grit

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WSKY-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, in November 2006.[10] The station's digital signal moved to VHF channel 9, in mid-May 2010, using PSIP to display WSKY-TV's virtual channel as 4 on digital television receivers.


External links[edit]